How to setup a savings goal target with a pre-existing balance

I'm new to YNAB (first day!) and am struggling with setting up a savings goal that is tied to a pre-existing balance.  To be more specific, I want to have a savings goal that is 3x our monthly household income and I have already done this calculation manually so I don't need YNAB to do it.  Monthly we put $100 toward this goal, and we already have an amount saved.  I don't really care about hitting the goal by any particular date - as long as we are making progress monthly that's all that matters to me.  Right now what it's doing is allowing me to set the goal but the starting balance is $0, so it's calculating (goal)/100 to determine the number of months that it'll take to hit my goal  But really the calculation should be (goal-amount already saved)/100 to determine the number of months to reach the goal.

I'm guessing this is possible and I'm missing the obvious - anyone have some hints for me on how I can accomplish this?

Thank you!

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  • I would just set a monthly contribution goal of $100 to facilitate the quick budget tool. You can put your target balance in the category name for easy reference to know when to stop.

    Alternatively, you could set a Target balance (no date), and after next month, it will calculate how much time it will take to get there.

    Either way, put however much you've already saved in the category this month, then budget $100/month going forward. 

    My first option will be an easy click each month, but won't show your progress automatically. My second option will need manual contributions each month, but it will show your progress. I'd do the first option.

    • Superbone
    • YNAB convert since 2008
    • Superbone
    • 4 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    You need to budget your current savings into the category. Your savings account should be in your budget.

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    • Yes, and since this is your first day setting up YNAB, I'd really recommend putting all your already established savings dollars into savings categories. Here are some examples: Loss of Income (sounds like you've got this going already), Medical, Veterinary, Auto Maintenance/Repair, Home Maintenance, Vacation, Down Payments, Technology Replacement, Stuff I Forgot To Budget For, etc. You may not be able to fund everything right now, but that's ok.

      After that, fund whatever you need for the rest of the month.

      If you can, try to put any paycheck amount from this month into a category called Income for Next Month. If you can budget the entirety of July with money earned in June, it's a good thing. Look up that technique (INM) on the forum. 

      If you can't do that yet, no worries - I only bring it up because it seems you have some savings that you might be able to work with. 

      If you want to reallocate from your savings categories to facilitate that INM workflow (it has a lot of benefits), you can do that. 

      Otherwise, you'll budget new money every paycheck. 

      No matter which workflow you choose, make sure you always budget down to $0 (shown in the TBB at the top of your screen).

      Good luck! People on the forum have given me many good ideas about how to use this software the best, and it's a powerful tool!

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